Monday, December 31, 2012

A trip to Panama

The end of the year is approaching, an occasion to sit down and reflect on the year 2012. It has been a very full year with plenty of interesting activities and nice moments.

I spent most of my time working in Ethiopia. In 2012, I contributed to a farm household survey that surveyed 600 farmers in the Blue Nile, implemented 4 focus group discussions with farmers, contributed to the development of two spatial targeting tool boxes making sure that they would be up-taken by stakeholders. I developed games for engaging people with very different backgrounds and developed and implemented many trainings. I really enjoyed doing all these activities that made me meet many interesting people. I also could go to conferences, visited Mauritius and trainings on open-source GIS. Finally i also went back to Switzerland and the Netherlands for some leave.

On the private side, it has been the year where I finally somehow managed to find my way in Ethiopia. I finally made some Ethiopian friends with whom I could enjoy the Teddy Afro concert and deepen myself into Ethiopian politics. Also my birthday party at the Dashen beer brewery was an unforgettable moment.

In 2012, i also made the bitter discovery that i am not a superwoman, that my health, my energy and my capacity to cope with water shortage, daily harassment, food shortage or African (un-)logics are limited. The tiredness and wish to be closer to my family for a while pushed me to leave my Ethiopia, get a good rest for a while and later on look for a new adventure, that I hope will bring me back somehow to agricultural research and how it can contribute to development.

Like the tiger and the bear (in the video), i took off with my tigerduck, in search of Panama, the paradise that smells like banana, looking forward to what this trip and search will teach me and where my next destination will be.

I would like to take this occasion to thank Charlotte, Nigeru, the "Gondar" club, and more particularly Amare and Kibru, Linda, all my colleagues, my campus neighbors, my employees, people from partner organizations, for their support and sharing some good time. Somehow, I will end up missing my Ethiopian life with you!

Finally, I would like to thank you, as a reader of my blog. The year 2012 has been a year where more and more people started reading this blog on a regular base. I hope I will be able to keep up with the expectations and share with you ideas and developments from rural areas around the world.

I wish you a new year full of new and interesting adventures!

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